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NYC explosion leaves two dead

An NYC explosion killed two people and injured at least 22 others this morning. An unknown number of people are also missing following the blast, which shook upper Manhattan on March 12 at 9:30 a.m. Authorities said the incident was caused by a gas leak, not terrorism. However, members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force did respond to the scene "out of an abundance of caution."

According to a report by NBC News, the two five-story buildings that collapsed following the explosion were located at the northwest corner of 116th Street and Park Avenue in Harlem. Those two structures have been completely destroyed. One of the two demolished buildings comprised six residential units and a commercial space.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that there is an ongoing search for a "number of missing individuals." He further explained to reporters:

From what we know now, the only indication of danger came 15 minutes earlier when a gas leak was reported to ConEd. The [NYC] explosion happened before that team arrived.

This is a tragedy of the worst kind, because there was no indication in time to save people.

The NYC explosion caused debris to rain down in the area, and Metro-North service has subsequently been suspended out of Grand Central Terminal due to the presence of debris on the tracks. The following notice was posted on the site:

Metro-North service is suspended into and out of Manhattan following the explosion and collapse of two buildings in East Harlem next to Metro-North tracks. Metro-North customers traveling to New York City today will be taken to stations in the Bronx where they can transfer to the New York City Subway for travel to Manhattan. NYC Transit will cross honor Metro-North tickets at those nearby Bronx subway stations. Customers wishing to travel north today out of Grand Central Terminal should take the subway to specific points in the Bronx.